Apple has released software updates after revealing vulnerabilities that could have given hackers access to people’s devices, as the company faces pressure to tackle spyware and uphold its cybersecurity reputation solid.
In “security update” messages on Wednesday and Thursday, Apple said customers should update to the latest software to avoid risks affecting its Safari browser, Mac computers, iPhone and iPad devices.
“These software vulnerabilities could give attackers full access to a vulnerable device,” said Rachel Tobac, hacker and managing director of SocialProof Security, which teaches businesses about cyberattacks. “Everyone should update their Apple devices, especially those most at risk of attack from nation states, such as journalists, activists, and people in the public eye.”
The update comes after an emergency hotfix was released last year when researchers discovered a vulnerability that allowed hackers to deploy Israeli firm NSO Group’s controversial spyware tool through its app. iMessage. Apple has long marketed the increased security and privacy it offers users.
Apple, which declined to comment further, said it was aware of reports that the latest vulnerabilities “may have been actively exploited.”
Last month, the company introduced a security feature called Lockdown Mode for users who feel vulnerable to sophisticated cyberattacks. Apple said this “extreme and optional protection” was intended to protect against “the rarest of attacks” and would strictly limit an iPhone’s capabilities.